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Obstet Gynecol. 2005 May;105(5 Pt 1):967-73.

Subcutaneous tissue reapproximation, alone or in combination with drain, in obese women undergoing cesarean delivery.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Center for Research in Women's Health, University of Alabama at Birmingham, USA.



To compare the efficacy of subcutaneous suture reapproximation alone with suture plus subcutaneous drain for the prevention of wound complications in obese women undergoing cesarean delivery.


We conducted a multicenter randomized trial of women undergoing cesarean delivery. Consenting women with 4 cm or more of subcutaneous thickness were randomized to either subcutaneous suture closure alone (n = 149) or suture plus drain (n = 131). The drain was attached to bulb suction and removed at 72 hours or earlier if output was less than 30 mL/24 h. The primary study outcome was a composite wound morbidity rate (defined by any of the following: subcutaneous tissue dehiscence, seroma, hematoma, abscess, or fascial dehiscence).


From April 2001 to July 2004, a total of 280 women were enrolled. Ninety-five percent of women (268/280) had a follow-up wound assessment. Both groups were similar with respect to age, race, parity, weight, cesarean indication, diabetes, steroid/antibiotic use, chorioamnionitis, and subcutaneous thickness. The composite wound morbidity rate was 17.4% (25/144) in the suture group and 22.7% (28/124) in the suture plus drain group (relative risk 1.3, 95% confidence interval 0.8-2.1). Individual wound complication rates, including subcutaneous dehiscence (15.3% versus 21.8%), seroma (9.0% versus 10.6%), hematoma (2.2% versus 2.4%), abscess (0.7% versus 3.3%), fascial dehiscence (1.4% versus 1.7%), and hospital readmission for wound complications (3.5% versus 6.6%), were similar (P > .05) between women treated with suture alone and those treated with suture plus drain, respectively.


The additional use of a subcutaneous drain along with a standard subcutaneous suture reapproximation technique is not effective for the prevention of wound complications in obese women undergoing cesarean delivery.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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